DC Making Flash Doctor Manhattan Proves Watchmen Exploitation Has Gone Too Far

This is totally DC's "Watchmen Babies" moment... right?

Flash Doctor Manhattan DC Comics
DC Comics

We're a month in 2020 now, and those rumours about DC resetting their continuity (again) are looking more and more accurate by the day. As reported by Bleeding Cool and The Beat, it seems as though DC are about to pull the plug on DC Rebirth and start something called '5G', or 'Fifth Generation'. The general idea is that all of the company's main heroes (Batman, Superman etc.) will be aged and replaced by younger counterparts, with the new continuity acknowledging "everything" that transpired in previous continuity.

DC has so far remained tightlipped on the prospect of another reboot, but added further fuel to the fire with their announcement of a 'Generation Zero' event for Free Comic Book Day 2020. The cover, by the wonderful Francis Manapul, sees a blue-looking Wally West flying forward as all of DC's timelines come together, which matches up with previous rumours about 5G.

You can check out the full cover below:

Generation Zero Flash Doctor Manhattan PORTRAIT
DC Comics

But this is where things start getting a bit icky, especially if you're not a fan of DC's continued use of the Watchmen license. The last decade has seen the publisher capitalise on the timeless success of Alan Moore and David Gibbons' comic, with Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock both generating controversy for effectively exploiting the original graphic novel, and it looks as though they aren't finished yet.

In fact, this latest use of the Watchmen characters may just be the most egregious yet.

How so? Well, as was announced yesterday, this year will see Wally West - a character who has been through... a lot, over the last decade - become the new Doctor Manhattan. Oh, and he'll be getting said powers by operating the Moebius Chair, a creation from Jack Kirby's Fourth World Saga, just in case this wasn't all tacky enough already.

The synopsis reads as follows:

"In order to save his children and the multiverse itself, Wally West makes the ultimate sacrifice, taking his place in the Moebius Chair. Unbeknownst to him, the chair is packing a little extra power, having been imbued with the godlike powers of Dr. Manhattan! Now armed with infinite knowledge – and the powers of a god – Wally West can see the past, present and future of the DC Universe all at once...Including what needs to be changed."

Flash Forward: Epilogue will be written by Scott Lobdell with art from Brett Booth, and well, it all sounds a bit deflating if I'm being honest. This is meant to be DC's next big era, and they're kickstarting it, somehow, with potentially the most uncomfortable use of the Watchmen license yet.

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How do you feel about Wally West being the new Doctor Manhattan? Let us know in the comments below.

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Comics Editor
Comics Editor

WhatCulture's very own Comics Editor. Cats, comic books and spaghetti westerns are my thing. Rants about stuff @EwanRuinsThings